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May 11, 2007

PCC raps Sun over pregnancy story

Category: News

Announcement of Charlotte Church's pregnancy was a breach of privacy


The Sun breached Charlotte Church’s privacy by reporting the news of her pregnancy without the singer’s consent.  


The Press Complaints Commission ruling has confirmed its stance that reporting news of a pregnancy before the 12-week stage without the mother’s consent is a breach of the Code of Practice’s restrictions on invasions of privacy.


The 21-year-old singer made a formal complaint to the PCC that an article published by The Sun which had reported rumours that she was pregnant had intruded into her privacy in breach of Clause 3 of the Code.


Upholding the complaint, the PCC observed:


“The newspaper’s defence in this case was that it had merely reported rumours that the complainant was pregnant because of a change in her behaviour. But the newspaper had provided no evidence of any rumours, and had not denied that it had known for a fact that she was pregnant when it published the piece. In these circumstances it seemed to the Commission that the newspaper had simply tried to circumvent the privacy provisions of the Code by presenting the story as speculation. This was not acceptable within the spirit of the Code.”


Last year, in the adjudication of a complaint made against the Independent by the actress Joanna Riding in similar circumstances, the Commission made clear that newspapers should not reveal the fact of someone’s pregnancy before the 12 week scan without consent and when the information is not known to any significant degree.


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